NARMS Collect

Capturing data from retail meat samples about bacterial resistance for quick and effective monitoring.

Executive Summary

Antimicrobial resistance is considered one of the most important global public health challenges. Many factors contribute to the emergence of antimicrobial resistant microorganisms, but the use of antimicrobials in medicine and agriculture is considered the most important factor.

The FDA arm of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) gathers data from retail meat samples to assess the nature and magnitude of resistance in bacteria moving through the food supply and eventually causing illnesses in humans.

The FDA has identified a largely manual and outdated process amongst its network laboratories for collecting, managing and transferring retail meat surveillance data to the FDA. At present, laboratories have a 3 month lag in data submissions, thereby preventing the NARMS partners from effectively using the data to support their mission and monitoring activities.

As a result, the team decided to develop a mobile app that can actively collect, manage, and transfer retail meat monitoring data, while minimizing the need to enter data into multiple forms and information systems and cutting the monthly report processing time in half.

The team plans to use an open source framework to develop a mobile application that can acquire retail meat monitoring data in the field and actively sync to an FDA information management system. The intent is to use existing application programming interfaces (API’s) with customization as needed. The system will incorporate optical character recognition or a barcode scanner that auto populates some of the data fields. The team also plans to develop a web based user interface for the mobile application to support additional onsite data management activities, such as activity details, audit data collected, and add laboratory results.

A project supported by the: HHS Ignite Accelerator, HHS Secretary's Ventures Fund

Team Members

Emily T. Crarey (Project Lead), FDA
Claudine Kabera, FDA
David N. Heller, FDA
Michael Grabenstein, FDA
James Milto, FDA
Patrick F. McDermott, FDA


June 2015: Project selected into the HHS Ignite Accelerator
July 2015: Time in the Accelerator began
September 2015: Time in the Accelerator ended
March 2016: Project receives support from the HHS Secretary's Ventures Fund
May 2017: Support from Secretary's Ventures ends

Project Sponsor

Erik Mettler, Associate Commissioner for Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Additional Information

Contributing Partners: 

FDA Innovation Lab
Heather Tate, FDA
Sherry Ayers, FDA
Melissa Warren, APHL
Nkuchia M’ikanatha, Pennsylvania Department of Health
Gina Olson, Washington Department of Health
Charles McGowan, New York State Departmentt of Health
Ashley Mehmert, Missouri State Public Health Lab
NARMS Retail Food Surveillance Network of State and Local Public Health Departments from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington State